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Viral rape video: Victim was trafficked by Bangladeshi TikTok ‘star’, all accused arrested in Bengaluru. Details

As per the Bengaluru police, the victim in the video is a young woman from Bangladesh who was trafficked to India under the pretext of a job and was forced into prostitution by the accused. All the accused have been arrested from Bengaluru's Ramamurthy Nagar.

A viral video clip of a gang rape incident began doing the rounds on the internet on Wednesday (May 26). In the video footage, four men and a woman were seen brutally assaulting a victim and sexually torturing her.

Initially, many social media handles had claimed that the victim in the video is the 25-year-old Nagaland girl Lovi Sumi, who had recently committed suicide in Jodhpur where she worked. However, police officials verified the identity with the family members of the deceased woman and confirmed that the woman in the viral video is not the Nagaland girl but a different woman. Law enforcement authorities in several states were put on alert to find the culprits visible in the video.

The Assam police soon sprung into action, posted the images of the accused on its Twitter handle and sought information about them from the public. By tracing the chain of video forwards, the cops were able to locate its origin to a mobile phone in the city of Bengaluru. Immediately, the Bengaluru City Police was alerted and special teams were deployed to track down the perpetrators. The four men, and a female accused were all arrested from a rented house in Avalahalli in Ramamurthy Nagar.

They were identified as Mohammed Baba Sheikh, Ridoy Babo, Sagar, and Hakeel. The identity of the female accused was not revealed. Reportedly, all the accused worked as laborers. According to the police, the victim, a Bangladeshi woman, was illegally trafficked to India under the pretext of a job and was later forced into prostitution. Although she was able to flee, the accused hunted her down. They then assaulted and gang-raped her with the help of their female aide.

Bengaluru police nab 5 accused, team dispatched to trace victim

In a press note released by the Bengaluru City police, it said, “Based on a video clip, wherein one woman was subjected to physical abuse and torture by a group of people, five culprits including a woman, visible in the clip were immediately traced and secured by Bengaluru City Police. On the basis of the contents in the video clip and facts as disclosed during preliminary interrogation of the secured persons, a case of rape, assault, and under other relevant provisions of law, has been registered against the accused in Ramamurthy Nagar Police Station.”

The press release by Bengaluru police

It further added, “Since as revealed, at present the victim woman is away in a neighbouring state, a Police team has been dispatched to trace her, so that she could join the investigation. As per the information revealed so far, all of them are part of same group and believed to be from Bangladesh. Due to financial differences, culprits brutalized the victim, who is also said to be a Bangladeshi, brought to India for human trafficking. Investigation is being carried out in full earnestness, under the close supervision of senior officers.”

Bangladesh police registers case, traces accused and victim’s family

Reportedly, the perpetrators from Bangladesh had shared the video clip of the gang rape with their friends in West Bengal and Assam. On Thursday (March 27), Bangladesh Pratidin informed that the gang-rape incident took place in Kerala in India. Bangladesh National Crime Bureau (NCB) AIG Moinul Islam confirmed that the victim and one of the perpetrators is a Bangladeshi national. The agency could not verify the nationality of the other accused.

Meanwhile, two cases were also registered by the Hatirjheel Police in Bangladesh under the pornography act and the human trafficking act. One of the prime accused, Ridoy Babo, was identified by the Tejgaon division police through his social media accounts. His uncle, mother, and local residents also identified him from the viral video. He was a resident of Moghbazar in Dhaka and came to India 3-4 months ago, after being evicted from his house for disorderly conduct.

Screengrab of the Facebook and TikTok profile of Ridoy Babo

When the police approached him through his uncle’s Whatsapp number, he admitted that he was the one seen in the video. According to the perpetrator, the incident took place 15-16 days ago. The cops seized the accused’s JSC exam registration card and NID card from his house. He was a TikTok star with over 71K followers. Deputy Commissioner informed that a probe has been initiated to establish whether they entered India illegally.

The Bangladesh police were able to identify the victim through Ridoy and contacted her family. They were able to recognize her from the viral video clip. Ridoy said that he knew the victim and that she is 20-22 years old. Citing sources, Bangladesh Pratidin revealed that the victim was married in 2014 and that her husband lives in Kuwait. After suffering torture at her in-laws’ residence, she began staying at her father’s house for 5 years after the marriage. She wanted to go to Saudi Arabia to help her father tide over financial difficulties. But, her father was duped for over Tk30,000 by a broker while trying to send her to the Gulf nation. She then left for India without telling anyone.

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